Monday, June 05, 2006

Mountains and Molehills

In the run-up to the World Cup fever among football supporters is naturally running high. In London and elsewhere in England, the English cross of George flag at the moment can be seen flying from cars, pubs, houses and all manner of other places. Nothing wrong with this of course. By all means support your team by flying the flag. However this sort of climate of euphoria unfortunately breeds the perfect conditions for the little Englanders in the tabloid press to latch on to any story(or non-story as the case may be) that supposedly demonstrates instances of political correctness gone mad.
The Evening Standard ran a front page story last week on the supermarket chain Tesco banning their drivers from flying England flags from their vehicles for health and safety reasons. Had the ban been imposed so as not to offend foreigners then it would have been a ridiculous example of the PC brigade going over the top, but this was not the case. The RAC have issued a warning that flags attached to cars can be dangerous to motorcyclists or pedestrians if not securely fastened. Even if this story were true - and in any case I suspect it’s been grossly exaggerated – does it really deserve to make the front page headlines when you consider all that’s going on in the world? Apparently the ban had been lifted soon afterwards anyway, but of course the Standard and its paranoid sister rag the Mail on Sunday seemed to take great pleasure in implying that such phenomena are part of a politically correct clampdown by some imaginary loony left campaign intent on destroying British/English culture in favour of a multi-cultural European Islamic superstate.

I’m looking forward to seeing some quality football being played over the next few weeks in Germany, but we can do without this kind of shit-stirring from the gutter press.

While we’re on the subject, I received a joke by e-mail this morning masquerading as a Department of Transport press release. As with most jokes which rapidly fly through cyberspace courtesy of a friend of a friend of a friend, etc. I don’t know its origins and probably never will, but it certainly captures the mood of the times:

Department of Transport. 22nd May 2006

Due to the nature of the quality of driving in England the Department of Transport has now devised a new scheme, in order to identify poor drivers and give good drivers the opportunity to recognise them whilst driving.

For this reason as from the middle of May 2006 those drivers who are found to be driving badly which includes:

- overtaking in dangerous places;

- hovering within one inch of the car in front;

- stopping sharply;

- speeding in residential areas;

- pulling out without indication;

- performing U turns inappropriately in busy high streets;

- under taking on motorways and

- taking up more than one lane in multi lane roads,

These drivers will be issued with flags, white with a red cross, signifying their inability to drive properly. These flags must be clipped to a door of the car and be visible to all other drivers and pedestrians. Those drivers who have shown particularly poor driving skills will have to display a flag on each side of the car to indicate their greater lack of skill and general lower intelligence mindset to the general public.


Antonio from Italy said...

This joke is not English, is it?

Lorainne said...

Antonio this joke probably is English as the English like to take the piss out of themselves (and other countries of course)

CW said...

It's having a go at the boy racers and reckless drivers who deliberately drive at excessive speeds just to boost their ego and their testosterone levels more than anything else.

By the way, Antonio, what do you think of Italy's chances in the World Cup?

ainelivia said...

really like this, well done, brilliant, it grows on me and the more I consider this, the more I laugh